Woodford County

Missing boy, 2½, found safe in field, asleep near a cow

It was a mother’s nightmare — a 21/2-year-old boy walks out a door as night falls and goes missing on a 500-acre farm.

But this Woodford County story has a happy ending. Luke Webb was found after an extensive 41/2-hour search, asleep near a cow in a field.

It was a cow and calf that caused him to wander in the first place, said his mother, Angela Webb.

Luke’s grandparents, Patsy and Jason Webb, had brought Luke and a 6-year-old sibling to their farm on Woodlake Road to spend Friday night.

On the way into the farm, they stopped to show the children a cow nursing her calf.

Once they got in the house, his grandfather went out to check on another calf. When Luke walked out behind him, his grandmother thought he was with his grandfather.

“Luke loves the farm, he loves tractors and he loves feeding baby calves,” Angela Webb said. “Evidently he got curious and thought, ‘I’m gonna go see.’ ”

Jason Webb came back 10 minutes later without Luke, and a search began.

Angela Webb said about 30 people were looking before the police and firefighters arrived. The search eventually involved more than 100 people, tracking dogs, ATVs and a Lexington police helicopter. The railroad was notified because tracks run along an edge of the farm.

It was a terrible ordeal for a parent.

“We kept praying, but as the hours went by, terrible thoughts came in,” Angela Webb said.

Luke was found Saturday morning, curled up asleep in a field about a mile away, by Jeff Farmer, an off-duty Versailles policeman.

He told Farmer he was scared, but when he saw his teary-eyed mother, he had this to say: “Mommy, I seen cows. I seen cows.”

Luke was checked out at Blue­grass Community Hospital, and was fine except for a few minor scrapes and bug bites.

“He’s now our little Huckleberry Finn,” Angela Webb said. “He woke up this morning wanting pancakes.”